The hip is one of the most active moving parts of the human body, and the older we get, the greater the chance of suffering pain as our hips reach the end of their warranty. But not all hope is lost. Here are five measures aging people can take to minimize hip pain.
Tips from an Orthopedic Doctor in Raleigh: Preventing Hip Problems
Watch Your Weight
One of the most often overlooked ways to avoid hip pain is maintaining a healthy body weight for your height. Every pound over your ideal body weight places additional stress on your heart, muscles, and skeletal system. And this is particularly a problem for your hips and lower back, as these areas must adjust to maintain balance when excess fat is in the midsection.
To reach an adequate body weight, you'll want to avoid consuming more calories than your body requires. There's no need for a fad diet. Instead, focus on developing healthy eating habits you can maintain for the long haul. Cut back on the sweets, fats, and salty snacks. Eat more whole foods plus drink plenty of water.
Get Regular Exercise
After a healthy diet, keep the hip pain at bay by maintaining a robust and active body. Of course, this doesn't mean you must train for the Olympics. Still, regular activity will keep your hip joints from stiffening up and help maintain a solid muscular foundation in the midsection to support your hips and lower back. Moderate walking for thirty minutes daily may be all you need to prevent the pain.
Giving your muscles a nice stretch each day doesn't just keep your body feeling great. It helps keep the tendons and ligaments strong and pliable. This is particularly important for the hips because they are involved in almost every body movement. Just be sure not to stretch cold muscles. Always warm the body with calisthenics or a brisk walk before stretching to avoid damaging your muscles.
Wear Adequate Footwear
Another often overlooked way to prevent pain throughout the lower body and even the spine is to ensure your shoes are suitable for your feet and that the soles are not worn. Proper shoes help ensure the correct feet, knees, and hips alignment. And worn soles cause the joints of the hips and legs to overcompensate to maintain balance, increasing the chance of pain and injury.
Reduce the Risk of Falling
One of the top causes of a hip injury in aging people is falling, a hazard that can be easily avoided. Keep walkways clear, putting groceries or packages onto counters, tables, and other places not in your walking path. Use the handrail when walking up and down steps and stairs, being sure to watch where you are stepping to avoid unexpected obstacles or even missing a step. And consider using a cane when you are outside the home.
While you may not be able to prevent hip pain one hundred percent, being diligent about taking care of yourself and avoiding the risks that cause hip injuries will give you the best chance of aging gracefully and painlessly.
Are you experiencing pain in your hips? Dr. Dan Albright, an orthopedic doctor in Raleigh NC can help. After a thorough evaluation, Dr. Albright can develop a treatment plan to get you back to pain-free activities that you love. Call 919-863-6808 and schedule a consultation today.